DIM SUM RESTAURANTS IN SAN FRANCISCO
多好茶室 DOL HO
808 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
Just up from Stockton Street, opposite 'Great Wall Ginseng and Herbs' (長城參茸海味藥材行).
This place is one of the Chinatown standards, and is known affectionately as ‘the place with lots of old people’, referring to the customers. They are well-known for pots of black bean spareribs and rice. Their dim sum is good. Fastidious out-of-towners will probably not enter.
I’m fond of the place, probably because I thoroughly enjoy both the food and the bare bones ambiance.
Go here with a friend and the newspaper. After the rush is over you can dawdle a bit.
城景 CITY VIEW RESTAURANT
662 Commercial Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Between Kearny and Montgomery Streets, opposite 'New Hong Kong Menu' (旺角偉記), just around the corner from East West Bank (華美銀行), which is in the old headquarters building of Bank of Canton of California (加州廣東銀行), which was subsumed into United Commercial Bank (聯合銀行).
Close enough to the financial district, yet far enough away from where the suburbanites prefer to eat that you won’t be bothered by some ignoramus acting all petulant. Most of the time. But that’s okay, what they won’t eat, you will.
Good food, good prices. Excellent siu mai and lo mai kai.
香雅茶室 (香雅甜品茶室) HANG AH TEAROOM
1 Hang Ah Alley
San Francisco, CA 94108
Near the YMCA (基督教青年會) on Sacramento Street, down from Stockton.
One of the oldest dim sum places in Chinatown. Famous, but with a somewhat more limited menu than others, and no trolleys.
Many people remember eating there with their family members when they still lived in the neighborhood. It’s very hometown.
It has some classics, and decent charsiu bau.
羊城茶室 YANK SING
49 Stevenson Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Opposite no. 1 Ecker Place, in between Market and Mission Street.
Mention this restaurant and many Chinese will squawk up a storm. Too expensive! Hah, the nerve!
And as ‘expensive’ almost automatically means ‘no good’, some will sneer that the food is not what you want, and that they must cater primarily to white people. Which, during the workweek, is somewhat accurate.
Clean, good service, quality, and hence more expensive than most.
On weekends it is filled with Chinese families.
Except for the occasion when I ate at Yank Sing with white people, when they were on Battery Street back in the eighties, I’ve had no bad experiences here. The food is at times out-standing.
Some of the dim sum at Yank Sing you will not find elsewhere in San Francisco.
Pricewise, it's an excellent choice if your company is paying for lunch.
粵凱海鮮大酒樓 CANTON SEAFOOD & DIM SUM HOUSE
655 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Right across the street from the U. S. Passport Office.
Decent food. They pride themselves on their fish dishes, so it would be worthwhile to go there for dinner. The daytime dim sum selection sometimes leaves something to be desired, but they have all the standard items, and there is plenty of parking nearby. Which is why families pack this place on weekends.
東江飯店 TON KIANG RESTAURANT
5821 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94121.
Between 22nd Avenue and 23rd Avenue; there's a big religious edifice in the next block opposite.
Dim sum till early afternoon, Hakka food after that. Some people bellyache about the prices. The prices are reasonable, so those people should probably go back to Oakland.
It gets crowded.
Yeah, often it seems like white folks central. But there are an awful lot of them living in the vicinity.
鯉魚門海鮮茶寮 KOI PALACE
365 Gellert Boulevard
Daly City, CA 94015
In a shopping centre with tons of parking, at Hickey Boulevard and the Junipero Serra Freeway.
Delicious. Unfortunately, it's located in Daly City. Which isn't Chinatown.
New spins on some dishes, but many of the old classics, and super chicken feet.
You will not find me eating here often - too many Philippinos and white people.
I can get happy in C'town for far less, without putting up with any part of Daly City.
Many people will complain about the service during peak hours at dim sum places. But realistically, what do you expect? Teahouses are jampacked from morning till around noon, then it abruptly peters off. When every seat is occupied the service necessarily isn't top notch.
Some people sneer that if there are lots of white folks eating there the food cannot be good. That is, plainly put, quite illogical. If the place is packed with people scarfing down food, there's something going on that merits your attention.
I'll be the first to admit that a surfeit of Caucasians is suspicious - but in a San Francisco dim sum place?
Have you EVER seen anyone demanding sweet and sour pork or shrimp-fried rice at a teahouse during peak hours? And do you really think that poor-taste people will flock to a joint where the wait staff have neither the time NOR the linguistic talent to explain the specialties?
The ambiance of a popular teahouse is frenzied - customers flock in desperate for tasty snackipoos before the good stuff runs out, "we need to sit down NOW all fifteen of us, oh look there's a cart coming out of the kitchen let us wave at it frantically", plus there are frazzled staff who are brusque and far too busy to engage in a long conversation. Likely there may also be some old geezers reading their newspaper and stubbornly taking up valuable space, as well as a few children running around uncontrolled.
Really, a good dim sum place will be a madhouse for a few hours.
That's why you're there.
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